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A Year of Stories Powered by Your Support

Behind every breakthrough in our research and behind all the exceptional care at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, there is a community of generous donors who help make it possible. When we share stories on Kids Health Matters throughout the year, we are not only applauding the achievements of our patients and providers—we’re celebrating the extraordinary impact philanthropy has on our work.  

If you are a donor: thank you! Your support truly makes a difference in the lives of the patients we serve.  

If you haven’t shown your support yet this year, we invite you to make a contribution in any amount today and power more remarkable stories in the year ahead!  

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Author Lily Collison pictured with her son, Tommy, at the launch of her book, featured in Dreaming in the Time of COVID-19: A Cerebral Palsy Book is Launched Despite a Worldwide Pandemic, October 2020. 

Early in the year, before our lives were all touched by the full effects of COVID-19, Gillette was celebrating both Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and the launch of the first book from Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press, Spastic Diplegia—Bilateral Cerebral Palsy. Penned by Ireland-based author Lily Collison with the support of Gillette’s experts, the book aims to make medical information accessible to patients and families. Gillette is a leader in cerebral palsy care, treating over 4,100 patients every year and operating one of the three busiest gait labs in the world. Donor support helps us provide our patients with exceptional care, and powers research that may improve treatments and outcomes. Thanks  to that remarkable generosity, Gillette continues to deepen our expertise, pursue research, and share our knowledge with the world. 

A member of our Orthotics, Prosthetics and Seating Department sewing masks, featured in Gillette’s OPS Team Creates Masks in Addition to Life-Changing Prosthetics, May 2020.   

In the spring, we all adjusted to a quickly changing world amid a global pandemic. Thanks to support from donors, Gillette entered this crisis with strength and resilience, ready to provide vital resources and information to our patient’s families and to the broader community. Gillette’s experts went to work right away to expand virtual care efforts and online resources for families—and after the temporary order halting some types of procedures expired, staff worked tirelessly to schedule 175,000 appointments so patients could receive the care they needed without further delays.    

Gillette patient Taylor Offtermatt, 14, featured in After Treatment for Scoliosis, Taylor Barrels Ahead, June 2020 

In June, Gillette celebrated Scoliosis Awareness Month, highlighting some of our patients who have gone on to achieve remarkable things after treatment for scoliosis at Gillette. Throughout the month, we shared profiles of some of our patients including a competitive swimmer, an equestrian and an Olympic climber. Through their stories we see the impact of Gillette’s expert care—and the impact of the donors who support our work.  

Gillette neurologist Randal Richardson, MD, examining the muscle tone of a spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patient, featured in Gillette Helps With New Treatments and Choices for SMA Patients, September 2020.

This fall, we celebrated the FDA’s recent approval of a new oral medication for SMA, a rare and often fatal genetic disease affecting muscle strength and movement. Gillette Neurologist Randal Richardson, MD was engaged in early and ongoing clinical trials of new treatments for the disease. Nearly every physician at Gillette is engaged in research, and studies often stem from questions that are coming out of the clinical environment about how to improve treatments and outcomes for our patients. The research department at Gillette is 100% donor funded, so as we recognize advancements in research, we also honor the generosity of those who make it possible. 

Colton Byrnes, featured in Not All Heroes Wear Capes, But Colton Does, December 2020. 

Recently, we shared the story of 6-year-old Colton Byrnes, whose family was grateful for the support they received from the donor-funded Gillette assistance program. For families with children who have complex medical conditions, the costs of care can be overwhelming. That’s why the Gillette Assistance Program exists—to help families worry less about finances so they can focus solely on their child’s health. Every year, donors help hundreds of Gillette families afford the cost of expert care for their children. 

Ready to help us tell more amazing stories in 2021? Donate today and power expert care, life-changing research and vital financial assistance for families in the year ahead. 

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